THE HIGH NET WORTH MYTH
It has recently become fashionable (perhaps as a result of the disruption experienced by the legal profession from the many events of 2020) for divorce lawyers, and those who aspire to be a divorce lawyer, to hold themselves out as focusing on a clientele that has achieved a high-net-worth. Your search engine of choice will return a huge shopping list of attorneys who make that bold claim.
Let’s explore this “net-worth” advertising lingo and consider why such a proclamation from your prospective counsel should send you running for cover.
What is high-net-worth? No one knows for sure because there is no widely accepted definition of the term. The financial services industry has probably come the closest to a working definition by including only those individuals who have achieved a net liquid estate of at least one million dollars.
If a prospective divorce client walks into a “high-net-worth only” lawyer’s office and says “I have a million dollars in my checking account and want a divorce,” there isn’t anything terribly sophisticated about dividing that marital estate and sending the newly divorced client on their way with a portion of what they started with.
We, on the other hand, believe that the clients who need the most sophisticated, experienced and assertive representation are the business owners, professionals, officers and directors of public corporations, entrepreneurs, and their spouses. Clients who may present with offshore issues, that are concerned about dissipation of the marital estate, that are heavily leveraged, that have pursued tax advantaged investments, diverse real estate holdings, have IRS considerations, may be the second or third generation of disadvantaged estate planning and are otherwise anything but of a “you take one and I’ll take one” mentality.
We are widely known for finding practical, reasonable, equitable solutions to problems that are at first blush insurmountable. We have virtually seen it all, and welcome the opportunity to explore your unique circumstances. It’s not your net-worth, but rather the complexity and magnitude of your issues that should guide your selection of counsel.